A young girl, unaccustomed to traveling, was taking a train ride through the country, and it happened that in the course of the day her train was obliged to cross two branches of a river and several wide streams. The water seen in advance always awakened doubts and fears in the child. She did not understand how it could safely be crossed. As they drew near the river, however, a bridge appeared, and furnished a way over. Two or three times the experience was repeated, and finally the child leaned back with a long breath of relief and confidence.
Daniel Sulmasy (then head of the Bioethics Institute of New York Medical College) made an interesting discovery while observing dying patients in a hospital. He aimed cameras at the doorways of terminally ill patients and tracked the number of minutes they spent alone. He said, “More than eighteen hours a day, there was no one in the room.”
Uncle Oscar was apprehensive about his first airplane ride. His friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. “Well,” commented Uncle Oscar, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but I’ll tell you this. I never did put all my weight down!”
One of the most gifted speakers in church history was John Chrysostom—the name comes from a Greek word meaning “golden tongued.” John was sent from Antioch to what was then Constantinople where he preached fearlessly in the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. His denunciation of the lavish extravagance of the rich and ruling class and his condemnation of excess infuriated many, including Empress Eudoxia who arranged for him to be exiled.
A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate window.
For a few moments everything was silent in the cab. Then, the shaking driver said, “Are you OK? I’m so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me...” The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said “I didn’t realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle someone so badly.”
Famed World War II tank commander General George Patton said, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” If you give in to your fears, you are on the path to defeat. If instead you stand strong in spite of your fears, you are on the path to victory. And we must never forget that we are not in the battle alone. With the power of God on our side, we cannot be defeated.
A mother and her four-year-old daughter were preparing to retire for the night. The child was afraid of the dark, and the mother, on this occasion alone with the child, felt fearful also. When the light was out, the child caught a glimpse of the moon outside the window. “Mother,” she asked, “is the moon God’s light?”
“Yes,” said the mother.
The next question was, “Will God put out His light and go to sleep?”
The mother replied, “No, my child, God never goes to sleep.”
Mysophobia is fear of dirt. Hydrophobia is fear of water. Nyclophobia is the fear of darkness. Acrophobia is fear of high places. Taxophobia is fear of being buried alive. Xenophobia is fear of strangers. Necrophobia is fear of the dead. Claustrophobia is fear of confined places. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.